Update: Urban Flats working to pay employees in wake of closure | News
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Urban Flats describes itself as a refined casual restaurant and wine bar. There are several locations, but the Tinseltown location closed abruptly after serving a number of employees worthless checks.
The facility has been closed for more than a week and the workers are asking "where is my money" and "can anything be done?"
First Coast News met with five of those workers at the now abandoned looking Touchton Road restaurant. They are still hoping someone from the Florida-based company would give them some answers.
The company was formed in 2004 and is headquarters in Ocoee, near Orlando. The owner filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2011. These workers say they knew the restaurant was in trouble financially, but had no idea it would affected them the way it has.
"It wasn't just employers, it was distributors, DJs -- they didn't get paid either," said former employee Hunter Sparks. "It was the past couple of months, employees would go to deposit their checks it would bounced after a couple of days, or they would go to a Publix or check cashing place the cash checking place sent it back and they would tack on a fee."
"The company knew that they were closing because the night before, they came with a U-Haul and took all the tables and from the bar and we haven't been paid either so it is an awful situation," said Sherry Goldberg, another former employee.
Jerimiah Hersey, another former employee, said the company still owes him about $800.
Last year, the company filed Chapter 7, and the case was closed in February of this year, according to court records. The company said its assets were $0 to $50,000, but it owes more than $1 million.
So what can these employees do? First For You, if you are in a similar situation to these employees, you can file a claim through the Wage and Hour Division and file a lawsuit against the company that is not paying you. One the Urban Flats employees has already contacted an attorney.
UPDATE 9/11/12: Lori Shrew, consultant to Urban Flats, said that the restaurant is "working on getting everyone paid, even though there's no revenue coming in."
Shrew said the former employees can rest assured that they are working to get everyone paid.
"We have never said that no one is getting paid; we're not trying to hurt anyone," Shrew said.